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Old June 6th, 2006, 10:21 PM
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Default Shore Excursion Gratuities

Anyone have any advice regarding tipping of tour guides? We will be taking a 2-day tour in St. Petersburg and have no idea what kind of gratuity to offer! We don't want to be "Ugly Americans"!! [/b]
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Old June 7th, 2006, 09:07 AM
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for a two-day tour if your guide is very helpful, informative, and genuine i think that maybe $20.00 would be appropriate?? If your guide is boring and scripted, i would tip less.
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Old June 7th, 2006, 10:07 AM
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I do most of my own excursions and if it is something from an organized company I will give the guide 15% to 20% as a tip. IF they've done a good job. If they haven't I will cut it back.

If it is a private individual I gage it on the service and price I paid. If the person did an excellent job and the price was reasonable I may give them A
LOT more and if they basically drove me around, or failed to deliver I will give them little or nothing.

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Mike
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Old June 8th, 2006, 10:45 AM
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Thanks for the responses. Mike, would a 20% tip on a 2-day tour in St. Petersburg, with a price of $299 pp, be appropriate? Tipping in restaurants, cabs, etc. varies so much from country to country and I'm not sure where the tour guide industry fits!
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Old June 8th, 2006, 12:26 PM
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$60 for a group tour is a very good tip and more than most people would give.

If it is a private excursion that is booked through a company I stay with the formula I gave. The guide is an employee who is only receiving a "portion" or wage for providing their service to the tour company. I may raise it or lower it depending on how the guide performs.

If the excursion is provided directly by an individual I may lower it. The person doing the tour is receiving the entire amount of the price of the tour.

If it is a group excursion I usually lower it. In those circumstances there are a larger number of people on the excursion and the guide is receiving a higher number of tips but I still base my tip on how I feel the person performed.

I almost always book my own private excursions and tours. This is my personal preference and I prefer them over group tours.

On my recent Asia cruise we negotiated with a man in Shanghai to be our guide for the day. He turned out to be so good that we gave him double the negotiated amount when it came time to pay.

At the end of the day it comes down to what you feel comfortable with and how you feel the individual performed. Don't feel you have to lavish someone with money for doing their job. You have already paid a fee for the tour and if you feel the guide did a good job then give them what you feel is appropriate.
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Mike
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